Arizona (64-69) at Washington (56-77) 7:05 pm EDT


Arizona (64-69) at Washington (56-77) 7:05 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Coming off one of their most exciting
victories of the season, the Washington Nationals try to ride
the momentum into Friday's opener of a three-game series with
the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Nationals have not won back-to-back games since August 15-16
against Atlanta but have a chance after posting a thrilling 6-5
triumph over Philadelphia on Thursday.

Washington rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the ninth on a two-out,
two-strike, two-run single by Felipe Lopez. After falling
behind again in the 10th, the Nationals won it in the bottom
half as Brian Schneider delivered an RBI single and Marlon
Anderson - traded after the game - scored on a wild pitch to
snap his team's four-game slide.

Billy Traber (3-3, 7.14 ERA) takes the mound for Washington as
the 26-year-old lefthander tries to halt a personal two-game
skid. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last start Sunday,
surrendering eight runs and eight hits in a 13-6 loss to

Making his first career appearance against Arizona, Traber will
be opposed by veteran righthander Miguel Batista (10-5, 4.46).

Batista has not lost in his last 12 starts but has not factored
in the decision in eight of those contests. He yielded three
runs in eight innings Saturday, only to watch Luis Vizcaino
surrender the go-ahead run in the ninth of a 4-3 setback to the
Los Angeles Dodgers.

A member of the Nationals franchise from 1998-2000, when they
were known as the Montreal Expos, Batista is 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA
in eight career games - including three starts - against his
former team.

The Diamondbacks have lost 10 of 13 and have scored three runs
or fewer in four of their last five contests.